Holidays in Sedgefield 1954 -1980's
by Eleonore Setterfield
(Kidd's Beach, E. Cape)
Inspecting the loco of the Outeniqua Choo-choo
In 1954 my grandparents, Gabriel & Lettie de Wet from Williston in the Northern Cape, bought a plot in Swallow Drive. They built a small cottage which became a happy haven for family holidays.
When they died, my mother, Eugenie Wood (nee De Wet) inherited the property. The cottage (with Dover stove) was resold when it became too small for the whole family and my father, Vivian Wood (from Pretoria), bought a stand above Bleshoender Street (access by panhandle) directly opposite the old caravan park. The place was called Berg en Vlei.(Now, the gated community called "Landfall")
Their wooden home was surrounded by milkwoods, but the house was designed in such a way that two trees were incorporated into the lower deck.(about 1978) The Burmese teak doors and window frames were salvaged from the Old Mint in Pretoria. The view from the upper deck was stupendous. There was no electricity yet, so it was gas, paraffin lamps and candles. The romantic atmosphere disappeared when electricity arrived.
Trips on the Choo-choo were a great treat, also walking to Gericke's Punt for fishing. Best of all the Scripture Union Beach Mission was a wonderful attraction for children. One year the caravan park was flooded during a storm and we ended up accommodating the SU team on the floor of our lounge.
We did our BIG shopping in George, but Stop & Stay Superette and Wilmpies provided all the daily necessities...like fudge and slices of chocolate cake!
We inflated an old tractor tube and on the outgoing tide parents, 4 children and poodle would float from Kingfisher Creek to the beach, and vice versa. Great fun!
The family graves are in the local cemetery.